Thursday, April 29, 2010

Fostering Independence in Kids

I (usually) love when my kids exert some independence and take care of their own needs.  I don't see it as being neglectful ... they are simply learning valuable life skills.  This is a picture of Eva getting her own cereal.  Sometimes they get into things before I realize they've done it, and there's a mess to clean up.  Sometimes I know what their plan is and support them.  Either way, I can almost guarantee that my kids won't be on my health care plan until they are 26 (Lord, I hope not, anyway).  I mean, if my kid can legally get a DUI at the age of 21, can't he/she also pay for his/her own health insurance right out of college SOMEHOW?  I don't expect them to get $100,000/year jobs right out of school, but they have to be able to take care of themselves, even if it means working 2 jobs to pay off school loans and to have health insurance.  Call me crazy, but I don't care ... I've known too many people who have taken care of themselves and I want to put that expectation out there for my own kids and hope it sticks.  I hope it offsets some of the babying I do to them :-)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Easter Pictures 2010

By popular demand, here are some Easter pictures from our day at my mom's.  Don't get too excited now!  Don't you think Sam looks like MiniMe from Austin Powers?  Make up your own caption for this one!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Lego Cake Attempt

This was my attempt to make a Lego cake for Michael's birthday party recently.  What the &^%^ was I thinking? I am like the worst cook in America!

When it was clear it was all messed up, I got upset with myself, but Michael was so cool about it and helped me doctor it up. Next time I'll head here for some really cool, doable cakes!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Chocolate Communion: Choco Discs

 I hope this isn't some sort of blasphemy,talking about Choco Discs as Chocolate Communion.  I dig these little guys ... I get them at Whole Foods and spend way too much on them, but they don't give me a  headache like most of the sugar crap I buy at the regular store.  I just like how they are shaped like a Communion wafer and provide so much spiritual fulfillment.  God knew what He/She was doing when these were created.  I'm actually getting somewhere in my weight loss journey ... the proof is that I bypassed my little chocolate wafer friends the other day when I was at Whole Foods.

If you're a writer type, come on by The WM Freelance Connection to find out how I published my first e-book.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Wooden Trophy Stands for Pinewood Derby Cars and Trophies

I told Aron that when I am a rich writer (forget famous; you can't spend famous) he can quit his job and be a full-time woodworker (not to mention being able to give me daily foot massages and be our full-time cook, as well).

I also told him his woodworking portfolio would be on my blog for his potential clients since I've posted pictures of almost all of his projects.

Here's the latest one: Joel got a trophy for winning 2nd place in our Cub Scout Pinewood Derby recently, and Michael got a ribbon for winning 1st place for siblings, so Aron made them each a stand to hold their car and their award. What a good dad, huh?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Pea Diddy and Literal Kids

We love that Ke$ha song that starts, "I wake up in the morning feeling like P. Diddy ..." We're not sure what it means to wake up feeling like P. Diddy, but how many other songs do you love that you don't have a clue as to what they are talking about?

So Michael, who is completely literal, comes up with this gem. It's a real live pea dotting the I.

Oh, and once I told my 5-year-old nephew that he was literal and he goes, "No, I'm big."

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Administrative Professionals Day

In honor of Administrative Professionals Day I will share with you some of my exciting job history. I used to be a secretary/administrative assistant at a big, international PR firm. I liked it well enough, but I was nearing 27 and mostly just wanted to get married and pop out several babies. So my focus was on my future for sure.

Plus I didn't handle grown adults acting like big old babies too well. Meaning, women in their 60s throwing hissy fits over the fact that their tuna sandwich had onions in it. To my children I would simply say, "Pick them out." For my boss, I had to haul my butt back to the restaurant and get a new one made. And don't even get me started on my MALE bosses. Talk about primadonnas!

Yes, folks, I am much better at working as a homeschooling mom and freelance writer/waitress/cook/housekeeper.

Anarchy rocks and is a good job if you can get it.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Food Art Creations

I love when the kids make art out of food. And yes, this photo explains why I keep stepping on toothpicks. Now I'm off to set off a bug bomb in the house since they tend to come a runnin' when rotting food art is around. Just kidding.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Have you heard yet about You can find a sitter for your kids, your pets or your parents on this site, as well as a housekeeper or a tutor! There is a great interview here with St. Louis native Mike Cravens, CEO of

Sign up in April and get ten free credits to the site. All you have to do is enter the promo code: FREEINAPRIL.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Extra Valium Meals

Okay, stay with me here because this probably won’t make much sense.

One time I was talking about McDonald’s Extra Value Meals and Aron said, “Extra Valium Meals.” I thought that was hilarious and it got the cogs of my mind working. (By the way, anyone remember The Jetsons?)

So I think that in addition to Happy Meals for kids, McDonald’s should also make Extra Valium Meals for parents. The burger would contain crushed-up Valium for a pleasant day. Like an adult Happy Meal.

Sorry about this post. I’m a little slap-happy today.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Field Trip: Kansas City Zoo

A couple of weeks ago I realized our current Kansas City Zoo membership was going to run out in two days, and the weather was going to be amazing, so I decided to head to the zoo with 5 kids.

To save some money, we pack bread, peanut butter and jelly and eat there. We also get the refillable cup for soda when it’s hot or else just bring water. Unfortunately, I forgot sunscreen that sunny day and had to shell out 3 bucks for an ounce, but it saved us some hurtin’ later, so it was worth it.

I realized I am about 15 pounds heavier than I ever have been this long after having a baby. Then I realized it was like I was carrying around an extra Baby Sam all day at the zoo. No wonder my feet hurt so much when I got home. Wah.

Sam hung out in the stroller a little bit, but when he gets tired he’s a real Boobie Baby (just like the 4 kids who came before him) and wants to nurse and crash, so I carried him in the sling quite a bit.

We had a good time, but corralling all the little ones plus the stroller and all our gear was a little stressful for me. Who cares, though, when the kids had such a great time and thanked me all day long for taking them?!

I don’t have much to say about the exhibits since we really only made it to Africa and the little offshoot from Africa where the gorilla and tiger are. It takes us forever to get around anyway, and the tram was only running every 30 minutes (weekday). Hey, I wasn’t gonna walk to Africa at a 2-year-old’s pace, friends!

By the way, the new memberships rock and we bought one: $110 gets you one year of unlimited visits to the zoo (including Boo at the Zoo in October) plus unlimited train, tram and carousel rides. I don’t know about you, but that $100 pays for itself in about 1 visit for my big family. And the unlimited carousel rides (normally $2 per person) will really help me out! Don’t forget that your membership to The Kansas City Zoo also gets you a discount at the gift shop, in case you forget your sunscreen or have to have a stuffed animal.

What do you think of your local zoo? We love St. Louis, Omaha, San Diego, Phoenix and Cheyenne Mountain Zoos.

P.S. The pix aren’t so hot because I FORMATTED MY CAMERA accidentally after I’d taken a cute pic of all 5 kids on a bench. Grrr.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Date Night: BD’s Mongolian BBQ

We only do a date night about twice a year these days. Don’t feel sorry for us, though, because before we had kids we went out to eat everywhere imaginable and had nice, long conversations. I LOVE to eat out and always have, and my favorite time dining out with Aron was during out 2-week vacation in 2000 to New Haven, Martha’s Vineyard, New York City and Maine.

Aron never gripes about us not having much alone time, so when he actually mentions a date, I plan one.

So we went on a Tuesday night to BD's Mongolian BBQ to beat crowds. We got our sweet 12-year-old (young, I know, but she’s very mature) Mother’s Helper from church for the last year to come take care of just the 4 biggest kids. I figure Eva is enough of a handful without our sitter also having to try to get Sam to take a bottle (good luck!), changing his cloth diapers and concentrating on getting him to stop crying if he gets started.

And wouldn’t you like to know what I have to pay a sitter to watch FOUR kids (in her opinion, I’m sure it can never be enough)!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Dumpster Diving

What kind of mother lets her kid climb into the recycle bin to look for entertaining things?

Well, um, me. I do.

Hey, at least he knows to only climb in when someone else is with him and only when it’s over half full so he doesn’t get stuck in there.

And he’s brought home some good stuff that the school recycles, like mini books.

And yes, I'm aware that there might be rats or hypodermic needles in the recycle bin. Maybe he'd better stay out of it.

Is this stealing or good, clean fun?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Carrying Pictures of Your Kids

Do you carry pictures around of your kids? Most people do. Everyone I encounter can whip out a photo of their family. I never used to because my kids were ALWAYS with me. A couple of years ago we had an extra picture of the kids with Santa, so I put it in my wallet, but they all look like Santa just told them they were getting jack squat for Christmas!

Just curious ...

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Good Pizza in Kansas City?

Where can you get a good slice of Larry Tate pizza in Kansas City? Probably nowhere.

What is the Larry Tate, you ask? He was the boss on Bewitched, for one thing. He had white hair. So the pizza named after him (found at Two Boots Pizza at Grand Central Station in New York City) has a white sauce, cream cheese, garlic and I think maybe even feta cheese. Two Boots, when are you coming to Kansas City????

Wheat State comes close, as does Minsky’s.

What would a pizza named after you have on it? Mine would probably have baby swiss, baby spinach, baby portabellos, baby everything with tons of cheese and would be called the Dairy Queen.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Happy Birthday, Michael!

Wow! My second child, also my second son, is 7 years old today! Lord, this boy is smart. And he goes with the flow so well. He can stay at home for days and never be bored. He can go out and do activities days in a row and be content. He loves Legos and puzzles. He recently spent the night alone at Poppy and Nana’s, without his big brother. It was a milestone, and he had a great time.

He was ready to move into his own bedroom at our house before his older brother was! And he says the funniest crap, some of which I’ve put on this blog. He used to be pretty quiet but in the last year has really come out of his shell and now alternates between periods of Lego or art concentration and periods of nonstop talking! I'm telling you, this boy will make one hell of an engineer or artist or anything he wants to be.

I love you so much, Michael! I can't wait for the next year with you, my sweet boy!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

How to Welcome New Neighbors

The “For Rent” sign came down the other day, and I immediately had my oldest kid (Joel) on the case to find out who our new neighbors were going to be. I told him the next time he saw the owners of the house to ask them who would be living next door to/behind us (we’re on a corner).

Soon after, Joel came in and told me the renters were a couple with a 5-year-old son. Immediately I’m like, “Oh, crap! People with only one kid usually think someone like me is a nutcase and they like to point out things like how stained my kids’ clothes are and how their hair needs brushing.” Wait! My own MOTHER is a person with only one kid and SHE does those things!!!!

Once they are all moved in, I plan to put on my best sweatpants, put in my best dentures, take over a muffin basket (yeah, right) and give them my mommy/business card. I’ll say, “If you want to read about yourselves, check my blog periodically. By the way, can I borrow your Internet connection? And when can you babysit?”

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

On Being the Mom of 5 Little Kids

Tresa says I have a high tolerance for being touched. Most moms can’t handle so much touching all day long, I suppose. But while I’m okay with the touching, the noise AND the mess, my downfall is the mental energy it takes to decide, all day long, who most needs my attention at any one moment. When I go to bed, I feel like I’ve worked triage at an ER for 14 hours.

And it also drives me nuts when I’m in the middle of a thought and it is constantly cut off by someone wanting me to watch them or listen to them or help them or feed them or the thoughts that creep in about how I should be doing dishes or laundry or making a meal or making a dental appointment or working on the budget or worrying about something or preparing for SOMETHING.

And don’t you dare suggest I shouldn’t have had so many kids because I can handle them all quite well, thank you. I think I’m a great mom for growing up as an only child who had all kinds of peace and quiet and never had to share bites of her food. Every now and then I’ll snap at one of the kids for taking my food, but that’s only when I’m eating a costly Weight Watchers meal and every bite counts and they are skinny little things who could eat sticks of butter and not gain weight!

99% of the time I just can’t believe how [I don’t even have a word that explains the wonderfulness of it all] lucky/blessed/fortunate I am to have this life. When I was in an abusive marriage at the age of 19 I never thought I would have ANY of this. I wished and hoped and prayed for it, but I’m not sure I quite believed it would all happen.

So no, I don’t have all these kids because the Pope tells me I can’t use artificial birth control. And I don’t have them because I don’t know what causes pregnancy. And I don’t have them for the attention, because I can tell you it gets old being looked at like a breeder cow sometimes when I bring 5 or more kids into a play area or to a park.

I have all these kids because I am in love with each and every one of them. They were each planned and wanted. I’m just saying I still have the right to gripe, just like any mom of 2 kids, about the hard emotional and physical and mental work of raising kids.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Stupid Effing Show or Blog

My poor thoughts are so used to be interrupted that lately they just go away on their own BEFORE they can be interrupted, like they are protecting themselves. Then they come back in the middle of the night as things like “I’m such a jerk … I just remembered I was supposed to email that friend of mine from high school like 2 weekends ago” and “Wouldn’t it be cool is there was a TV show called ‘Stupid Effing Show’?”

And you’d say to your mom, “I have to go watch my stupid effing show.” Or “Mom, go watch your stupid effing show”

Instead of “The Kerrie Show” I should’ve named this blog “Stupid Effing Blog.”

Monday, April 5, 2010

Silence of My Lambs

Don’t you love that time of night when your family is all settled in?

Maybe you’re single and your favorite time of the day is when work is over, dinner is over, the dishes are done (or not!) and you snuggle up with a good book, a movie, a TV show, a friend.

Maybe it’s just you and your spouse and you like sitting in your matching recliners while one of you watches TV and one of you sews a quilt.

For me, it’s around 9 p.m. when Sam is asleep on my shoulder and I’ve either put Eva to sleep in bed or she’s crashed out on the couch. The 3 older kids are watching a movie that just came from NetFlix (something like Astro Boy or something Dora-ish). Aron is either watching the movie with them or he’s working on something in his woodshop.

And I can relax in the silence. I write, read, watch TV with them, bug Aron. All winter I basically went to bed at 9, though, because we had a hard winter and I’d just had a baby. Soon it will still be light at 9 p.m., I’ll be more active during the day and I’ll be wired til 11 and will pray myself to sleep.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Houses for Rent in Kansas City

So the neighbors who were renting next door have moved out and the house is now ready for the next set of people. It’s a very nice house and is across from an elementary school, so lots of people have been stopping by to look at it.

If someone looks too hoity toity to live next door to me (meaning someone who is not exactly like me as far as being the coolest person on the planet), I send the kids out to the deck to yell things in a backwoods accent like, “Welcome to Hillbilly Homeschool High.”


“Are you renting because of a bankruptcy or a fear of commitment?”

Because I never know who is reading this blog, I have to say to the landlords of this house that I am partially kidding, but that someone who lives next to a house full of kids needs to be able to handle it. And I have to say to people who are over 40 years old and renting houses that I have nothing against you and don’t feel superior to you. In fact, someone once said something to me about how there are many benefits to renting instead of owning. If you are that person, please expand upon that sentiment in the Comments section, please, because I’m nothing if not open-minded!

Hoppy Easter, by the way!

Friday, April 2, 2010

How to Make a Baby Book

Holy crap, I found a few minutes to myself where I wasn’t taking care of someone else, nursing or writing. Well, not exactly to myself. Sam was in the bouncy seat next to me and Eva was looking at her baby album next to me and the other kids were playing in the March 20 (first day of spring, my arse) SNOW with a friend.

So I did this:

I started Sam’s baby album! I ordered it from Creative Memories forever ago. I have the same 8 ½ x 11 albums for each of the kids, and am fairly caught up. Sam’s will be hard, and I suppose I’ve been putting it off. I mean, I’ll have holes where he wasn’t at the hospital with me, and I’ll have extra pages of NICU photos, but it will still be his baby book.

And it doesn’t have to be perfect. If you’re still wanting to put together a baby book for your kid(s) and are afraid it won’t look amazing so you haven’t even started, just go for it. Whip it together … get the pictures on pages and write some stuff down next to them that you remember.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Baby Powder: Evil or Funny???

If you’re a recent parent, you know baby powder is evil. It can get in the kid’s lungs and kill him or her on the spot.

Just kidding.

I actually still use baby powder sometimes. I hope it doesn’t cause lung cancer or infertility or anything like that.

So I’m putting some on Eva the other day and Michael says, “Why are you putting powdered sugar on her? Are you going to eat her?”

I said, “That’s now powdered SUGAR; it’s powdered CHEESE. I’m putting it on her TACO.”

We are so weird at my house. Couldn’t get through this parenting journey without a sense of humor.


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